Being an inclusive instructor is an ongoing process that involves learning, mistakes, persistence, reflection, and a willingness to adapt teaching practices to a diverse student population. 

-From What Inclusive Instructors Do: Principles and Practices for Excellence in College Teaching, p. 152

We have a dedicated faculty. Over the past several years more than thirty have engaged in an academy specifically designed to support their implementation of inclusive teaching practices to make their courses more welcoming and equitable for our Lafayette students. In this Teaching Excellence newsletter we celebrate the ten current participants as well as those who completed the program.

This year the academy has also expanded. While CITLS continues to facilitate a version in which faculty members in any department or program interested in taking a deep dive into inclusive teaching can engage, we piloted a new version, specifically for a team of faculty members from a department or program.

Participants in the Fall 2022 Inclusive Instructors Academy for individual instructors include Profs. Adam Biener (Economics), Will Grodzicki (Mathematics), Ryan Mitchell (English), Lauren Myers (Psychology), and Polly Piergiovanni (Chemical Engineering). Their inclusive teaching efforts involve:

  • Facilitating inclusive and engaging group work experiences,
  • Encouraging inclusive student interactions and engagement,
  • Designing a new course accessible to students who are both majors and nonmajors,
  • Obtaining general feedback on instructor usage of inclusive language and teaching practices, and
  • Implementing teaching strategies and policies that reduce racial equity gaps.

The Economics Department involves a team of five colleagues, three of whom are aiming to advance inclusion in introductory principles of economics and two upper-level courses. They include Profs. Amy Guisinger, Erin Cottle Hunt, Michael Kelly, Hongxing Liu, and Abu Rizvi. The Economics Department has been engaged in climate studies and other initiatives focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. Participation in the academy has been a next step in furthering their strategic goals. The team worked with CITLS and a student partner in the summer, and during the fall semester are actively implementing a variety of inclusive teaching approaches in their courses while obtaining feedback from trained student partners. Examples include:

  • Enacting inclusive problem-based learning experiences,
  • Exposing students to what economists do by inviting guest, virtual speakers of diverse backgrounds who work on different types of research to speak in class,
  • Highlighting the research areas of faculty within the department,
  • Focusing on practices that lead to student success in economics courses,
  • Facilitating inclusive group work experiences, and
  • Meeting one-on-one with all students in the course to build relationships and develop an awareness of their learning strengths and needs. 

In addition to these two cohorts currently participating in the Inclusive Instructors Academy, we also celebrate all student partners and faculty and staff members who have engaged in this initiative over the last few years. Please enjoy the photo book linked below.

Inclusive Instructors Academy Photo Book Cover PageApplications are now open for the Spring 2023 academy for individual instructors. Let’s continue the important work to make our Lafayette classrooms more inclusive.